If you were wondering why you spilled your fresh cup of coffee down your brand new white blouse yesterday, or why your office printer keeps jamming this afternoon, the answer is simple: Mercury is retrograde. Again. Yes, from July 7 until the 31st, everything will be a little bit more... difficult.
If you're astrology buff, you probably already know what that means, but here's a crash course (no pun intended) for those who don't: When Mercury begins its backspin, the transition is known to cause all manner of calamity: tech breakdowns galore, miscommunications left and right, and travel delays on planes, train, and automobiles. And apparently this particular Mercury retrograde in Leo is supposed to make all the signs more agitated than usual. Fun!
While you're battening down the hatches (and hopefully re-reading any and all snarky text messages before you accidentally send them to your boss instead of your co-worker) you might as well get some reading done, too. Below are 11 books that will make perfect Mercury Retrograde reading for one reason or another: they're calming in the midst of upheaval, they're informative about astrology and the zodiac, or they're just straight-up entertaining escapism to get you through this trying time:
'How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy' by Jenny Odell
Tech disasters are a notorious symptom of Mercury Retrograde, so you might like to use this time to do a social media detox. In How To Do Nothing, Jenny Odell dives deep into the ways tech drives our culture of constant productivity and offers solutions for connecting more meaningfully when you do log-on.
'Star-Crossed' by Minnie Darke
If you'd rather read about astrological blunders befalling other people, you'll love Minnie Darke's rom-com Star-Crossed. It follows Justine, who finds out that her crush, Nick, uses the horoscope in the paper (the one she writes for) to make all his decisions. So she decides to take his fate into her own hands.
'GMorning, GNight: Little Pep Talks for Me & You' by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Nothing says, "I need a pep talk" quite like Mercury Retrograde. After a long day of dealing with all the planet-induced drama, Lin Manuel-Miranda's sweet book of encouraging words (with illustrations by Jonny Sum) are sure to bolster you. Use it for a good night's rest or some pep in the morning.
'HausMagick: Transform Your Home With Witchcraft' by Erica Feldman
You might find yourself spending a bit more time at home this month, so why not make your space super conducive to the spiritual healing you're so gonna need during retrograde? Feldmann, owner of HausWitch in Salem, uses meditation, tarot, astrology and more to help you transform your space into a sanctuary.
'I Like To Watch:Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution' by Emily Nussbaum
I know that my first instinct during Mercury Retrograde is to hunker down on the sofa with a new series to marathon watch. If you're like me and you tend to turn to Netflix during this time, you'll love Nussbaum's collection of some of her best TV criticism, covering everything from Sex & the City to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
'The Mixology of Astrology: Cosmic Cocktail Recipes for Every Sign' by Aliza Kelly Faragher
Mid-way through the month, you might need a drink.... or two. When you've reached that point, invite some of your favorite people over for an evening of laughter, plates of food, and a couple pitchers of refreshing summer cocktails perfectly paired to their zodiac signs.
'Virtually Yours' by Sarvenaz Tash
If you're not taking a tech break, be extra careful before you post during retrograde... especially on those dating apps. But you can have some fun indulging in other people's drama. In this rom-com, NYU freshman Mariam joins a dating app and is matched with both her best friend and her ex-boyfriend.
'The Headspace Guide to Meditation & Mindfulness' by Andy Puddicombe
During Mercury Retrograde, meditation can be hugely helpful in dealing with all of the catastophes and little annoyances that crop up. Whether you're new to the practice, or just want to embrace it more now than ever, this practical guide from the creator of the super popular meditation app, Headspace, is a must-read.
'The Proposal' by Jasmine Guillory
Did Jasmine Guillory set her story during Mercury Retrograde? Because this is definitely the ultimate example of a miscommunication — and a fun book you'll want by your side this month. When Carlos helps Nikole escape after she turns down a public proposal, they get more than they bargained for.
'The Signs' by Carolyne Faulkner
When retrograde is finally at its end, you might find that you're interested in learning more about how astrology can work for you, and not against you. Pick up this book, which demonstrates how you can use astrology to actually improve your life, including in your relationships and career.
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